Your Voi ce I n The Communi t y July 16-31, 2014 IPOH ECHO 3

By Fathol Zaman Bukhari
From the Editor’s Desk
For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah
05 545 5582 or email
Dr. S.S. Gill
Resident Consultant
Hospital Fatimah
echo echo
he continuing saga of a Malaysian military attaché
staff in Wellington, New Zealand is a hotly debated
issue that is beginning to prick our conscience.
The matter would not have elicited such negativity had it
been appropriately handled by both the New Zealand and
Malaysian authorities.
Before we delve into the subject matter, permit me to
correct some misconceptions and misinformation regarding
the protagonist, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail. This is largely
due to inaccurate reporting in the media.
Rizalman is a non-commissioned offcer (NCO) with
the rank of a Warrant Offcer Class Two or WO 2, in short.
Not a second warrant offcer, as is widely reported in the
news media. There are two categories of warrant offcers – WO 1 and WO 2. These are
the highest achievable ranks for enlisted men in the armed forces – army, navy and air
force. Below them are the lance corporals, corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants.
Enlisted men join the army after undergoing training at the Recruit Training Centre in
Port Dickson. The navy and air force have their own training centres. They are promoted
as they get along in the service from private to lance corporal and henceforth. Promotion
is based on them attending and passing career courses at training establishments in the
country. Some are sent overseas if courses are not available locally.
Offcers, incidentally, undergo a four-year course at the Royal Military Academy in
Sungei Besi and are commissioned with a basic bachelor degree. In the good old days
you either do a two-year or a six–month course at the military college, contingent upon
one being a regular or a short-service commissioned offcer. I did a two-year course
pledging my allegiance to King and Country on May 8, 1968, the 23rd Anniversary of
VE (Victory in Europe) Day that heralded the end of the Second World War.
Rizalman is not a military attaché and neither is he a diplomat. He is simply a staff
of the military attaché, someone who is at the beck and call of the colonel (rank of
military attaché) and does his bidding like all good soldiers do.
The criteria for selection for an overseas posting are not as stringent as they were
before. In those days, one’s fuency in the English language was a must. Today with
many having a poor command of English, offcers included, a grasp of the language is
Rizalman is not a military attaché and neither is he a diplomat. He is simply a staff of the military
attaché, someone who does the colonel’s bidding like all good soldiers do...
considered suffcient. That is how low we have come over the
Those picked for an overseas posting undergo a short
orientation course in Port Dickson or at Wisma Putra (Foreign
Ministry). And the lessons, mind you, include dining etiquette,
conversational skills, social mannerism and taboos.
Preference normally goes to NCOs from the Intelligence
Corps since the job of service attachés, the world over, is
mainly to snoop on the military of the host country. I did my
share of discreet snooping when attending courses and feld
exercises in Indonesia, Australia and the United States of
When Rizalman’s impropriety hit the headlines on
Monday, June 30 after New Zealand Prime Minister John Kay broke his silence on the
alleged sexual assault, Rizalman and his family were already in Kuala Lumpur.
Rizalman was arrested by the Kiwi police on Friday, May 9 and was produced
at a Wellington court on Saturday, May 10. Meetings between the Malaysian High
Commission, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Kiwi
police followed suit. Decision to revoke Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity so he could
be tried was, however, withheld. There seemed to be a misunderstanding between the
offcials of both countries regarding the word “waiver”, so said the report.
The faux paus by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, whether deliberate or otherwise,
is uncalled for, as the country’s reputation is at stake. With the MH 370 debacle looming
ominously in the background, a diplomatic gaffe of this nature is defnitely in poor
Inaction by the authorities is considered by many as an attempt at covering up. I
was appalled when the Ministry of Defence announced that Rizalman would be court-
martialled instead. How could he be tried in a military court when the offence was
committed abroad with the principal witness a native of New Zealand? It certainly does
not make sense. On second thought, does anything in the country make sense anymore?
Rizalman’s extradition to New Zealand, meanwhile, has been put on hold as the
military authorities are not satisfed with his mental well-being. Frankly speaking, does
an alleged felon require that much assurance?
by Peter Lee
In The Name Of My Father’s Estate
Episode 31
Peter Lee is an Associate Estate Planning Practitioner (Wills & Trust) with Rockwills
International Group. He is also an Islamic Estate Planner providing Wills & Trust services
for Muslims. He can be reached at: 012-5078825/ 05-2554853 or excelsecms@gmail.
com. Website: His Book “To Delay is Human but to Will is
Divine” (96 pages, RM28) is available at his offce: 108 (2nd Floor), Jalan Raja Ekram,
30450 Ipoh; Rashi Mini Market (019-510 6284), 37 Jalan Perajurit, Ipoh Garden East;
Ipoh Echo and at all major bookstores.
ince Michelle Lee (Lee Sr’s daughter) failed to transfer
70% of her father’s shares in three of the family
companies to her mother Mrs Patricia Lee, she tried
to persuade her brother, John Lee (Lee Sr’s son) to speak to
Connie (Lee Sr’s 2nd wife) in settling these share distribution
through cash. However, John was reluctant to do so because he
felt that it would be very diffcult to talk to Connie especially
after the incident where Michelle assaulted Connie. But he
had no choice but to undertake these responsibilities after their
mother, Mrs Patricia Lee begged him to do it for the sake of
the family. John wasted no time and contacted Connie to meet
up with her. She immediately said “John, what is there to talk about after your dear
sister, Michelle resorted to violence with me? Furthermore, I am considering making
a police report and a legal suit against her for her assault on me pending my lawyer’s
advice.” John responded by saying, “Look! I am really sorry about this as I didn’t
expect her to react that way. She too regretted her actions. Connie, I know how you
feel now but all I want you to know is both sides of our family will not be able to
resolve the distribution of my father’s estate even if you decide to make that police
report and take a legal suit against Michelle.”
“As it is, I am now caught in the crossfre between you and my sister. So, it’s
very diffcult to carry on this way especially when you and I together with Michelle
are the Administrators of father’s estate.” Connie then said, “It’s not only the crossfre
between me and Michelle but also your mother, whom I have a score to settle with
on the withdrawal of $3 million from your father’s joint bank account with her in
Singapore. John replied and said, “That is why we need to meet to talk about all this
and resolve our problems instead of dragging on the matter with deep animosity against
each other. The other thing is our meeting this time will be between you and me only.
Can you consider my request and if you are unhappy after our meeting, then you can
walk away and proceed in whatever way you think is best for your family. So, what
have you got to lose?”
After a few seconds of thought, Connie then asked, “Ok! When and where do we
meet?” John said, “Is it okay if we meet over lunch tomorrow in Fine Dining Cafe
located next to my offce which is quite conducive for our meeting.” In response,
Connie said, “Ok! I will meet you tomorrow and I want you to bring me some answers
over my entitlement on the $3 million which your mother withdrew from your father’s
joint bank account at ZNA bank in Singapore. This to me is the key to our discussion.
Frankly, I want my entitlement as soon as possible since your mother has withdrawn
the money.” John then said, “That, I need to talk to my mother.” Connie then said,
“Well! I will leave it to you but tell her it’s either she release the money to me or our
distribution will remain status quo especially with the 70% shares held by your father
in three of your family companies.”
n this day and age, almost no one is free from stress as we rush about
the day meeting demands, targets and deadlines. Indeed, for many
of us stress is just part of life. Having some stress is good because
it can motivate people to function effectively at their best. However,
as with most things too much of stress may result in or worsen health
problems like depression, agitation, eating and sleeping disorders, heart
disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, abdominal problems including
eye problems. Eye problems occur when one is living with consistently
high levels of stress. One such eye condition that may result as a result
of stress is called Central Serous Retinopathy.
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) is a condition when there is a
collection of fuid in the central part of the back of the eye called the macula. This fuid that
causes swelling of the back of the eye (macula) affects the vision.
A person who suffers from CSR may have several different types of visual disturbances as
Central blurring vision or dull vision in the centre of the visual feld. ●
Seeing wavy or distorted lines – where straight lines may appear crooked. ●
Seeing images bigger or smaller than they actually are. ●
Colours may appear “washed-out” or ●
The eye care professional will check your
visual acuity and see how much it has been
affected. In most cases, the vision is not
so severely affected but the central vision
clarity loss and distorted images seen can
be distressing to the already stressed out
A dilated pupil examination will show
the swelling in the back part of the eye
(see adjacent picture). An OCT Scan done
can very quickly show the swollen macula
(central part of the back of the eye).
In most cases, CSR will generally clear in a few weeks to month and the patient recovers
fully without any permanent loss of vision. In some patients there may be residual loss of
contrast sensitivity making the night vision somewhat affected. In rare instances however,
the condition may be prolonged up to even 1 year or the patient may suffer repeated
episodes of swelling of the macula. Such repeated episodes almost always leaves some
permanent loss of vision or contrast sensitivity.
The patients are usually advised to de-stress although this may be diffcult for many.
Learning how to set aside time to relax, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and
getting suffcient rest will help. When the CSR is prolonged showing no sign of resolution,
argon laser photocoagulation treatment may be given to reduce the fuid leakage or swelling
of the macula (back of the eye).
Learning how to handle the stresses of life can be more important than most of us would
think. If you are undergoing undue stress, learn to recognise it and take measures to de-
stress. Remember, apart from stress causing CSR in the eye, stress can have harmful
effects on a person’s general health. Always seek professional help if you are unable to
de-stress effectively.
Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon
Dr S.S. GILL talking to us about stress-related eye problems.
To be continued…

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